University of Wisconsin Stout | Wisconsin's Polytechnic University
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Get Your Hands on Your Future
Degree: M.S. in Career and Technical Education
Program Director: Dr. Howard Lee
PRC Consultant(s): Heidi Rabeneck, Stephen Shumate, Haiyan Tian, and Debra Homa
Purpose of the Review: The review was conducted to assess the quality of the M.S. in Career and Technical Education degree program as part of the ongoing seven-year review cycle of every UW-Stout program.
Committee Findings: The PRC recommends continuation of this program through the next scheduled review in 2012-13, and that the recommendations made by the committee are implemented.
The M.S. Career and Technical Education program at UW-Stout is the second oldest graduate degree program on campus, and is a very well-established and known program. Students enrolled in the program work in the Wisconsin Technical College System, are high school teachers involved with career and technical and school-to-work initiatives, and some work for agencies such as the Department of Corrections, Private Industry Councils, and human services agencies that train in career and technical education. The program’s curriculum is flexible in the methods of course delivery as to meet the needs of adult students looking to either advance in their career or transition to teaching from industry. Currently, the program is available on campus, as well as in a weekend, cohort format in the Milwaukee area. Some courses are also available online. The core of the program involves a minimum of seven credits of research coursework and experience, a psychology of learning course, multiculturalism or similar course, and other graduate-only level coursework requiring advanced levels of analysis, conceptualization, and problem solving. Providing access to this type of program comes with a cost. It takes a considerable amount of time and money to recruit students for an off-campus program. With reductions in support on campus, the program director typically does all recruitment and marketing efforts in person. Currently, the program director is limited due to the fact that the position was reduced from 50% down to 25% and Dr. Lee is currently teaching 9 credits, but according to Appendix D and E of the program director’s self-study report, enrollments have remained consistent since August of 2003, showing a strong demand for this program off-campus.
The PRC Chair met with the dean, program director and chair of the primary department to discuss the review process. The PRC consultants also met with the program director at various intervals to review the procedures and offer assistance.
Under guidelines developed by the PRC, data regarding several aspects of the program were collected from students, key instructors within and outside the department, program committee members and program graduates through surveys. The data were analyzed and returned to the program director and PRC members.
There were 15 students who participated in the survey. In addition, one key instructor within the department and five key instructors from outside the department, and six program committee members responded, but no program graduates responded. Using this data, the program director completed the self-study report. The consultants then wrote a draft document summarizing the consultants’ analysis of these surveys, institutional data, and the program director’s self-study report that was distributed to the PRC with recommendations as deemed appropriate. On December 2, 2005, the program director presented a summary of his report to the committee and had an opportunity to address concerns. The Dean from the School of Education was also available to answer questions. After the committee discussed and approved the consultant-based report, it was then forwarded to the dean for response. The PRC reviewed the dean’s response, approved the recommendation report, and forwarded the report to the Faculty Senate.
The previous PRC review of the M.S. Career and Technical Education program was conducted during academic year 1997-98. That report was written by Randy Upchurch and Bill Bailey and the committee’s recommendations as well as the applicable responses are submitted below:
Previous Consultants’ Recommendations
The PRC consultants found that attempts have been made to address major concerns raised in the 1997-98 program review, although it appears that rather than focusing on distance education and Internet-only delivery, the program currently aims toward a blended instruction model of online, interactive television and face-to-face course interaction.
Issues of Concern